China announced shutting down their famous glass bridge, to the disappointment of thousands of enthusiasts who have planned to visit there. The announcement came just 13 days after opening the record-breaking bridge.
The glass-bottomed bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, is the highest and longest bridge of its kind in the world. However, the authority has been forced to shut it down due to overwhelming demand. Almost 8,000 people per day, 10 times of its load capacity, visited it since its opening on August 30.
The hype created around the bridge also revived people’s interest in visiting the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Hunan Province. The national park is famous for grotesque peaks and a wide variety of plants. It’s also thought that the pillar-like formations in the park were the inspiration behind the stunning landmarks in James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar (2009).
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The glass bridge has been built over Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Stretched 430 metres over the Canyon, the visitors can enjoy wonderful surrounding views from 99 triple-glazed panels. The officials confirmed that the bridge did not have any technical problem neither any accident happened there. The only reason behind the closure was the overwhelming volume of visitors.
The state-run news service of China, Xinhua, said that the authority would use the shutdown period to upgrade the software and hardware of the bridge in order to manage the influx of visitors. On the other hand, the Park officials will use this time to upgrade booking system, renovate car parks, and improve customer service.
After the maintenance work, the bridge authorities planned arranging a number of media events to prove the safety of the structure to enthusiastic visitors. The events will include driving a vehicle across the bridge and encouraging visitors to test the glass surface with a sledgehammer.
Photo Credit: Huffington Post
However, the sudden shutdown displeased a lot of people that vented their frustration through social media. Some were angry because they would not get a refund despite making made a travel plan and booking the tickets already.
The authorities are yet to announce a date for the reopening of the bridge.